The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Pub. HarperCollins, 2012.
Ivan is a silverback gorilla with an artistic bent, who lives in a cage or domain as he calls it, in the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade.
He has Stella the elephant and Bob the dog to keep him company but he doesn’t know what it is like to be with other gorillas, in fact he thinks he is the only gorilla. Very sad.
He has been with Mack the arcade owner since he was captured but has other human contacts particularly Julia a young girl who gives him paper and crayons to draw.
One day a baby elephant, Ruby is brought to the Arcade and this changes all the animals lives. She inspires Ivan to remember and to question his existence and future. What happens will stir your emotions to a level few books achieve.
One of the best animal stories I have read, even though all the animals have been given human thoughts and actions. The chapters are short and the language simple so that even the most reluctant of readers could manage this book easily.
It is based on a true story and questions human’s treatment of animals in zoos. Read it you will love it